Verbs - Past Tense (Was, Were)
When writing, it is important to get the tense correct.

Verbs - Past Tense (Was, Were)

This quiz introduces KS1 children to ‘was’ and ‘were’ and explains that they change ‘is’ and ‘are’ into the past tense. The National Curriculum states that Year 2 pupils should write in either the past or present tense continuously. This quiz will help children achieve that target. Knowing when to use past tense will improve their literacy and English writing no end!

When we write that a person or thing ‘is’ doing something – it means it's happening now. To change it to the past tense we replace the word ‘is’ to ‘was’. This is the same for ‘are’ and ‘were’. Test your knowledge on past tense, focusing on ‘was’ and ‘were’:

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  1. 'The dogs were barking.' Which word tells us this is written in past tense?
    We write 'are' or 'were' when there is more than one person or thing.
  2. 'He was fast asleep.' Which word tells us this is written in past tense?
    We use 'is' or 'was' when we are writing about one person or thing.
  3. Choose the correct sentence:
    The word 'was' tells us the mouse is no longer hunting.
  4. 'He is playing with the ball.' Which word tells us we are writing in the present tense?
    If he played with the ball yesterday, we would say: 'He was playing with the ball.'
  5. Which sentence is written in the present tense?
    If there was only one dolphin, we wouldn't write 'they' as that would suggest there is more than one. Instead, we would write 'he,' 'she' or 'it'.
  6. 'They are eating all my food.' Which word tells us we are writing in the present tense?
    To change this to the past tense, we would write: 'They were eating all my food.'
  7. Choose the correct sentence:
    Because there is more than one apple, we can only chose from 'are' or 'were'.
  8. Choose the correct sentence:
    Because of the word 'were,' we know they are no longer galloping.
  9. Choose the correct sentence:
    Because there is only one cat, we would say either 'is' or 'was'.
  10. Which sentence is written in the past tense?
    The answer is 'was' because there is only one bird in the picture. If there were two birds, we would write 'They were'.

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